Gun Control or Mental Health: The Most Divisive Issue In America
The policy that led to the release of most of the nation’s mentally ill patients from the hospital to the community is now widely regarded as a major national failure.
This is arguably the most divisive issue in America. Every time there’s a mass shooting in our country, this becomes the hot topic. Congress and our politicians simply cannot agree on a resolution. When in fact, the real issue is mental health and the lack of care for the people who are in need of psychiatric care and a facility to address their issues. Having the right to bear arms was written into our Constitution in 1791 for good reason:
To protect us from our own government, if necessary. “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Our forefathers must have been clairvoyant. In 2013 our own Department of Homeland Security purchased over $1.6 billion, not million, rounds of ammunition. Some of this purchase was for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war. Now ask yourself, why would our government purchase nearly $2 billion rounds of ammunition? Especially considering that quantity would sustain a hot war for 20 plus years. Many will recall ammo prices skyrocketing, along with rounds such as .22 caliber not even being available.
What better way to control guns than by taking your ammunition away? Eight years of Obama’s grandstanding around this issue every time there was a shooting, propelled the gun control mantra to the top of the liberal agenda. By Obama’s own admission, “I don’t believe that people should own guns.”
Taking guns away from law abiding citizens is not going to stop mass shootings. No more so than putting bumpers around all four sides of cars is going to stop accidents. We have a much bigger problem which only exacerbates the gun control issue.
Mental Health Problem
Do we really believe that someone who walks into a mall or school, opens fire on innocent people, is not mentally ill? Yes, I said ill, not challenged as the PC culture would want. According to the National Alliance on mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. – 43.8 million, experiences mental illness in a given year. Approximately 1 in 25 adults – 9.8 million, experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. Looking at these statistics, I think we can agree we have a very large and serious mental health problem in this country. A report from the American Psychiatric Association spreads the blame everywhere, faulting politicians, civil libertarian lawyers and psychiatrists.
Decades ago nearly every state in the U.S. had state run hospitals for the mentally ill. Records show that politicians were dogged by the image and financial problems posed by these facilities. The scientific and medical establishment sold Congress and the state legislatures a quick fix for a complicated problem that was bought sight unseen. By and large these state hospitals were often poorly managed, overcrowded and had poor living conditions.
Enormous amounts of tax revenues were being used to support these state hospitals. Along with this came a growing economic and political liability faced by state legislators. Tranquilizers became the panacea for the mentally ill and the state programs were buying them by the car loads. Due to underfunding and mismanagement, these hospitals began closing one by one all across the country. It was thought that community centers and local hospitals would be able to carry this enormous load. Unfortunately, there’s no way our hospitals can absorb the quantity of mentally ill people in society, nor were they meant to.
Today, the over reliance on drugs to do the work of society is the crux of the problem, more so than gun control. When people who either should be on medication, or are not taking their meds for a variety of reasons do not, the results can be lethal. Certainly, some of the deadly shootings in this country may have been avoided if this problem were being addressed in a more effective way.